A Salute to Lois Beebe Hayna

This summer I’m in a writers residency at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico in Taos. When I arrived, my childhood friend, Amy Beebe, contacted me from Denver to tell me her Aunt Lois Beebe Hayna––an award winning poet, now 101 years old and with yet another book coming out––once lived and wrote in these very casitas, and later served on the jury to select new writers. By all accounts, Lois and her works are loved and admired.

I’m only beginning to delve into her many poems, but my favorite, so far, (Courtesy of The Regis University Library), is below. Not a “funny” poem per se, but ingenious, haunting, and visceral . . . with a bit of gallows humor.

A poem I believe everyone should read.  ENJOY!!


shutterstock_144162019Red Alert

My mother surely knew the world
lurked along that path.
She had to know the world’s
filled with wolves, that their special
habitat is a forest
where little girls walk alone.
She dressed me
in the color of raw meat, she filled
my basket with warm-scented goodies
and sent me specifically
into the woods. A long way
into the woods. For years I believed
it was wolves that I had to beware.


Red Alert was Originally published in:
Keeping Still, 2005 and
Casting Two Shadows, 2010

2 responses

  1. […] also spent some time adding to my LRRH Pinterest board. I may have spent a day looking for “Red Alert” in order to reread it. That poem has definitely influenced a lot of my thoughts about Little […]

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